Dr Sam Moore from Lancaster Medical School has been awarded a place on the Space Health Impacts for the NASA Experience (SHINE) Training Course.
This competitive six-month online course is led by NASA scientists, and focuses on the scientific aspects of space radiation and how to protect astronauts from its harmful effects.
The SHINE Space Radiation Curriculum also educates participants about the agency’s risk management strategies aimed at protecting astronaut health and enabling human spaceflight.
Anaesthetist Dr Moore holds an honorary researcher post as part of her academic clinical fellow role investigating links between space-related physiological changes and patients undergoing major surgery on Earth.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have been selected to take part in the SHINE training course, learning from experts in the field and discovering more about the human research programme at NASA. Space provides a unique environment to study physiology, and many countermeasures keeping astronauts safe can potentially benefit high-risk surgical patients.”
Once astronauts venture beyond Earth's protective atmosphere, they may be exposed to the high energy charged particles of galactic cosmic rays and solar particle events and secondary protons and neutrons. Because of their ionization patterns in biomolecules, cells and tissues are distinct from terrestrial radiation with the resulting health effects poorly understood.
NASA has identified the following health concerns as its highest research priorities:
- Risk of Radiation Carcinogenesis from Space Radiation - increased risk of cancers.
- Risk of Acute or Late Central Nervous System Effects from Space Radiation - changes in motor function and behaviour or neurological disorders.
- Risk of Degenerative Tissue or Other Health Effects from Space Radiation - other degenerative tissue defects such as cataracts, circulatory diseases, and digestive diseases.
- Acute Radiation Risks from Space Radiation – psychological risks, significant skin injury, or death from a major solar event or combination solar/galactic cosmic ray event that jeopardizes crew and mission survival.
Research to be supported by NASA seeks to: reduce the uncertainties in risk predictions for cancer and acute radiation risks; provide the necessary data and knowledge to develop risk projection models for central nervous system and other degenerative tissue risks; and significantly advance the understanding of the mechanisms of biological damage that underlie radiation health risks.Back to News